6 Oct, 2016 290 Other religions

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the origins of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, and of the traditions that have built around her for over 3,000 years. According to the creation story of the Puranas, she came to existence in the churning of the ocean of milk. Her prominent status grew alongside other goddesses in the mainly male world of the Vedas, as female deities came to be seen as the Shakti, the energy of the gods, without which they would be powerless. Lakshmi came to represent the qualities of blessing, prosperity, fertility, beauty and good fortune and, more recently, political order, and she has a significant role in Diwali, one of the most important of the Hindu festivals.

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  • Jessica Frazier 8 episodes
    Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Kent
  • Jacqueline Suthren-Hirst No other episodes
    Senior Lecturer in South Asian Studies at the University of Manchester
  • Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad 5 episodes
    Professor of Comparative Religion and Philosophy at Lancaster University

Reading list

  • Hindu Myths
    Wendy Doniger (Penguin, 2004) Google Books →
  • Hindu Goddesses: Beliefs and Practices
    Lynn Foulston and Stuart Abbott (Sussex Academic Press, 2009) Google Books →
  • The Goddesses' Mirror: Visions of the Divine from East and West
    David Kinsley (State University of New York Press, 1988) Google Books →
  • The Goddess Lakshmi in South Indian Vaishnavism
    Pratap Kumar (Oxford University Press, 2000)
  • Vicissitudes of the Goddess: Reconstructions of the Gramadevata in India's Religious Traditions
    Sree Padma (Oxford University Press, 2013) Google Books →
  • Lakshmi: The Goddess of Wealth and Fortune: An Introduction
    Devdutt Pattanaik (Vakils Feffer & Simons, 2002) Google Books →
  • Invoking Lakshmi: The Goddess of Wealth in Song and Ceremony
    Constantina Rhodes (State University of New York Press, 2010) Google Books →
  • Devi: Goddesses of India
    John Stratton Hawley and Donna Marie Wulff (University of California Press, 1996) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 294.5 (Hinduism)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. Lakshmi is one of the most prominent and popular Hindu goddesses.